The primary French energy group EDF announced on 2 February the reinforcement of the restructuring announced in January 2016 which aimed to cut about 3,500 positions by 2018 out of a total workforce of 67,000 employees (about 5% of the total workforce). The management announced to its central works council the increase in the number of job cuts with 1,700 to 3,500 supplementary job cuts to reduce the workforce by 7.7% to 10.4% in four years. The job cuts mainly affect the commercial services and support functions (accountability, communication, HR management...). With the two restructuring announcement the global workforce will be reduced from 65,300 employees at the end of 2015 to 60,000 by 2019.
From 2011 to 2014, the group has already cut 20,000 positions. The management stresses it will maintain recruitment: it expects to recruit 1,500 positions in 2017 and 1,000 in 2018, mainly engineers and technicians specialised in information systems. According to the management, the new wave of restructuring is related to the drop in electricity prices. It decreased to €26 Megawatt/hours at the beginning of 2016 to then going back to €35 later during the year, but the management doesn't expect an increase in 2018-2019. The price had never fallen beyond the threshold of €40 in the previous years. Furthermore, the group has to stop several nuclear power station on security grounds, which reduces its production. At the same time, EDF has to heavily invest to modernise its nuclear power stations and to invest in renewable energies.